28 Community Highlights: Monet to Manga. Minecraft to Aircraft.

Food Swap to Backyard Chickens. Monet to Manga. Minecraft to Aircraft… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: CISA’s Winter Fare happens during the Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, January 17 from 9am-2pm at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School.  Come learn how to make homemade yogurt, herbal honeys and infused vinegars. Find out what it takes to keep chickens in your backyard and what your neighbors have made in their kitchens.  Bring your own home-preserved food and swap it with other participants. And see what the farmers’ have in their stalls that you can take home and prepare for your family dinner. This is a wonderful community-based learning event that incorporates collaborative consumption with food-based learning. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)


Outdoor Adventures  ♦ SnowshoeingLocal History  ♦ GraveyardsWorld MusicPeople’s MusicPuppetryFairy TalesService-Based LearningMLK DayAnime/MangaScienceLocal FoodBackyard ChickensFather GroupsParent WorkshopsArtAviationSilent FilmReading to DogsMinecraft


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 17th-23rd, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Last year our family participated in the Valentine’s Day card swap. It was really exciting and my kids loved it. It was a unique family activity put together by Hilltown Families… Without this website we would have missed great events that we wouldn’t know about but thanks to the information on Hilltown Families we we able to attend!” – Chrissy Costigan (Westfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Vote for Hilltown Families

As Hilltown Families enters its tenth year, celebrate with us as we finish out the decade by voting for Hilltown Families as BEST BLOG in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2015! BEST BLOG is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Feb 4th by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

Hilltown Families 7th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past seven years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts!

Bulletin Board

Jan 17

Drum, Stomp, & Dance! On Saturday, January 17, from 10am-5pm, get out and enjoy the holiday weekend at the Springfield Museums (21 Edwards St.) with a full day of art and science activities plus live animal demonstrations, special planetarium shows, and more! Highlighting the day’s activities is a performance of Trinidad 2 Timbuktu by Crocodile River Music (11am, Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum), free with museum admission. They’ll be taking visitors on a musical trip around the world, exploring calypso, reggae, flamenco, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban music and dance styles. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Open House: Jan 17

Open House at Nonotuck Community School on Saturday, Jan. 17, 10:30am–1pm. Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months–5 years. There will be tours for the grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for over 30 years! Conveniently located at 221 Riverside Drive in Florence. For more info visit www.nonotuck.org or contact the school: 413-586-5996, info@nonotuck.org.

Jan 17 & 18

German puppeteer, Mattias Kuchta, performs a magical production of the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White on Saturday, January 17 & Sunday, January 18 at 1pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 West Bay Rd) in Amherst. Kuchta, who is on an international tour, transports his audience to a new world with his Fellini-like textile puppets. Kuchta, doesn’t stand silently in the background while his puppets do all the performing. Instead, he moves and maneuvers his puppets like an onstage choreographer, giving them their unique personalities and voices, and fully involving the audience in the fun! Tickets are $8.50 (Members $7.50). Museum admission extra. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or call 413-658-1126

Jan 19 & 25

Consider Parenting in Cohousing. Families living in cohousing agree there are many benefits: Childcare support, community meal option, shared play areas, multigenerational connections, and more. Cohousing combines the best of privacy and community. Village Hill Cohousing (VHC) of Northampton has a few openings. Applications due in February. If you share VHC’s values of compassionate living, ecological sustainability, community, and welcoming diversity, check out these events: Parenting in Cohousing: Jan. 19, 3:30-5:30pm. VHC Intro: Jan. 25, 10:30a-1pm RSVP: info@villagehillcohousing.org. Let them know if you need childcare. Location: Rocky Hill Cohousing, 100 Black Birch Trail, Florence, MA. More about VHC: www.villagehillcohousing.org

Jan 21, 31 & Feb 11

Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield will host Admissions Information Sessions for prospective students and families on Wednesday, January 21 (7:00 pm), Saturday, January 31 (10:00 am), and Wednesday, February 11 (7:00 pm). Meet faculty, administrators, current students and parents; look at samples of student work; see what makes this public school distinct. Accepting applications for Fall 2015 in grades 7-12, Four Rivers is dedicated to educating young people for lives of learning and service. Call 413-775-4577 or go to www.fourriverscharter.org.

Open House: Jan 24

Smith College Campus School at 33 Prospect Street, Northampton will host an Open House on Saturday, January 24, 9:30-11am. All prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their families are welcome. Come explore classrooms and see what students are learning. Located on the beautiful Smith College campus, children experience a nurturing environment and an idea-centered curriculum that integrates art, music, physical activity, and computer programming. SCCS offers a newly expanded after school program and financial aid is available. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270.

Open House: Jan 25

Does your child love to learn? Is your child respected, nurtured and inspired? Come warm up at The Hartsbrook School’s winter open house and see how they’re different. Their multi-disciplinary curriculum blends academics, art, music and craftsmanship for a lifetime of creative and critical thinking. Sip hot chocolate, speak with current families, participate in a hands-on activity, see student work and meet early childhood, grades and high school teachers. Join The Hartsbrook School on Saturday, January 24, from 10 am to noon at 193 Bay Rd. in Hadley. All ages welcome! www.hartsbrook.org

Jan 25

Mister G, whose concert last year at Lander-Grinspoon Academy (LGA) sold out, will return to LGA’s stage on Sunday, January 25 at 3pm with a concert for the entire community at 257 Prospect St. in Northampton. Mister G, an award-winning musician, nominated for a Latin Grammy has recently been selected as a PJ Library musical artist for 2015. People Magazine, Parents Magazine, & The Washington Post have selected his CD’s as best children’s albums of the year. This concert has been funded in part by the PJ Library of Western Mass, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and the Jewish Federation of Western Mass. Tickets are available in person at Lander- Grinspoon Academy, the Jewish Federation of Western Mass, and online at www.landergrinspoon.org.

Open House: Jan 25

Academy at CharlemontThe Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, January 25, with presentations beginning at 1 pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for The Academy’s creative and rigorous academic program and warm, ethical community. The Academy offers vibrant arts and athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Open House: Feb 3

Accepting applications for fall 2015. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, our upcoming Kindergarten Screenings, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org

Feature your OPEN HOUSE here!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 17th-23rd, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Show Your Support for Hilltown Families: Vote for Us!

Hilltown Families: BEST BLOG
Vote for Us by Feb. 4th!

As Hilltown Families enters its tenth year, celebrate with us as we finish out the past decade by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2015!

Best Blog is listed under the
Information Age” category.

Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 4th.

Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)?

Spread the word & share the ❤ love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES

Hilltown Families believes in creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community based education and engagement.  We work to accomplish this by highlighting the embedded learning that is found everywhere in our communities, making the information accessible to families, and giving parents/educators access to opportunities that supports their children’s interests and education while encouraging community engagement.

Founded in late 2005 by Sienna Wildfield, the Hilltown Families blog is part of a online grassroots communication network for families living in Western MA, and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Serving thousands of families living throughout the region, Hilltown Families supports education through community engagement by connecting, collaborating, and creating community building events, community based educational opportunities, and service learning experiences.

See this TEDx Talk, Supporting Education Through Community Engagement, where Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares the story behind the vision and mission of Hilltown Families:

Susan Langenheim of Plainfield, MA, writes:  “Hilltown Families has been an extremely important resource for our family since the birth of our twins.  Living in the Hilltowns poses some challenges in staying connected with what is going on in the different communities, and Hilltown Families has been vital in keeping us supported with what resources and community events are happening in the surrounding areas.”

Kim Pedigo of Westhampton, MA, writes: “As a mom to 4 small children, Hilltown Families is my go to resource for fun and educational family activities. It has enriched our lives tremendously by keeping us informed and connected to our community.”

NJ Rongner Holyoke, MA, writes: “I was a new mom who was staying at home with my son when I discovered Hilltown Families. At the time, I had a pretty sweet case of Postpartum Depression. Hilltown Families encouraged me to attend events and kept me from isolating myself. Now that I’m past those early lonely days, it is still a great resource full of wonderful (SMART) blog posts, has a great weekly podcast that my son loves, and continues to be the first place I go to when I want to know what family friendly activities are going on in the Pioneer Valley!”

Kerri Simonelli of Haydenville, MA, writes: “I love Hilltown Families!  I always check out the calendar for upcoming events to see all the good things going on.  I know that in one place I can count on finding quality, fun events for my family to enjoy.  My favorite thing is the ability to click on a particular day to go right to what’s happening!  I also love sharing this incredible resource with new families I meet at the Northampton Parents Center.  Hilltown Families is a real gem of a resource!  THANK YOU for all you do!”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

What we’ve been chatting about…

Learning Ahead: Jan 12th-16th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 10 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 10th & 11th, 2015

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 10th-16th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 29 Community Highlights: Winter Wildlife to Winter Sports. LEGO Clubs to Social Justice., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our reader recommended list of 50 Winter Suggestions for families in western MA.

January 10th-16th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Winter WildlifeOutdoor AdventuresWinter Trail DaysBonfireService-Based LearningLEGO ClubsFarmingSTEMBabysitting CourseLifestyleSocial Justice/MusicFeatured Storytimes

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. A Quick, Cozy & Nourishing Meal For the Winter Months
  2. Happy St. Knut’s Day!
  3. Snow Much Fun in Western Massachusetts!
  4. Family Volunteers Can Help Children in Transition Celebrate Their Birthdays!
  5. HFVS Underground Railroad Episode (Podcast/Radio Show)

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

29 Community Highlights: Winter Wildlife to Winter Sports. LEGO Clubs to Social Justice.

Winter Trails Day happens on Saturday, January 10, a free one day event where families new to snow sports can try snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing. Simple events and demos are happening at Notchview and Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center, helping families discover the great fitness and social benefits of these easy to learn winter sports.

Winter Wildlife to Winter Sports. LEGO Clubs to Social Justice. Bagshare to Humane Hero… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Notchview is holding a Winter Trails Day for families this Saturday, January 10, 10am-3pm. Winter Trails Day is an annual nation-wide event that offers children and adults a chance to try snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing and the fun of getting outside in the winter. Come to Notchview and take advantage of free cross country ski lessons (10:30am &1:30pm), free guided snowshoe hike, free rentals and care clinic, and half-price trail passes for the day. Stay the day and warm up in Notchview’s new cafe featuring soup, sandwiches, and baked goods. Notchview has limited skis available for use, so come early. 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA. ($)


Winter WildlifeOutdoor AdventuresWinter Trail DaysBonfireService-Based LearningLEGO ClubsFarmingSTEMBabysitting CourseLifestyleSocial Justice/MusicFeatured Storytimes


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 10th-16th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“The resources made available (and sent to my inbox!) have been such a treasure chest of information! I’ve followed up on many, and learned about so many others… Hilltown Families is like a quilt of the region–all the squares brought together into a wonderful blanket of information and opportunities: Thank you!” – Toni Hochstadt (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families

In this TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement,” Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares her story on why feeling connected to where you live matters, and how community-based education and community-service learning can help grow active citizens who care about where they live.Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on the support of our community! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today! Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement for nearly a decade. As we embark on the next 10 years, we look forward to fortifying and expanding our mission to support community-based education and service-based learning through community engagement with the support of volunteers, sponsors and readers like you! Please include Hilltown Families in your giving this year so we can move forward together! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you for your support!

Bulletin Board

Open House: Jan 8, 12 & Feb 3

Accepting applications for fall 2015. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, our upcoming Kindergarten Screenings, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org

Auditions Jan 10

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for an original ballet, Aladdin and his Magic Lamp on January 10, 2015. The story of Aladdin and his Magic Lamp comes to life this spring at The Academy of Music on March 28 & 29, 2015. Presented by Pioneer Valley Ballet, the colorful characters and spell-bounding choreography takes audience members on a magical ride through a land brimming with genies, dreams, love, and adventure. Roles include Bluebirds, Flowers, Canaries, Bats, Spiders, and Children of the Palace. Children 4.5 – 12 years are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Children must be at least 4.5 by January 10. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Info Sessions: Jan 10 & 21, 31 & Feb 11

Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield will host Admissions Information Sessions for prospective students and families on Saturday, January 10 (10:00 am), Wednesday, January 21 (7:00 pm), Saturday, January 31 (10:00 am), and Wednesday, February 11 (7:00 pm). Meet faculty, administrators, current students and parents; look at samples of student work; see what makes this public school distinct. Accepting applications for Fall 2015 in grades 7-12, Four Rivers is dedicated to educating young people for lives of learning and service. Call 413-775-4577 or go to www.fourriverscharter.org.

Fridays & Saturdays

Full Moon Girls–Wild Natured Girls: She feels comfortable in herself, inhabits a sense of place, and she makes choices with boundaries clear. She goes for higher dreams, has her voice, and takes risks. She is embracing her uniqueness. She’s got smarts & emotional savvy needed to balance all the cultural influences she swims in everyday. She wants it all, she is aliveness, laughing at her imperfections. Capable-Confident-Evolving. Full Moon Girls will help her get there. Fridays weekly, Feb 6-May 29, 9:30-3:30. Girls 9-15. Sliding scale $50-78/day. Saturdays monthly, Jan 17-Jun 14, 9:30-2:30. Girls 7-15. Sliding scale $45-75/day located at Brook’s Bend Farm in Montague. For more info call Full Moon Girls at 413-367-6191.

Open House: Jan 17

Open House at Nonotuck Community School on Saturday, Jan. 17, 10:30am–1pm. Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months–5 years. There will be tours for the grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for over 30 years! Conveniently located at 221 Riverside Dr., Florence in Northampton. For more info visit www.nonotuck.org or contact the school: 413-586-5996, info@nonotuck.org.

Open House: Jan 25

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, January 25, with presentations beginning at 1 pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for The Academy’s creative and rigorous academic program and warm, ethical community. The Academy offers vibrant arts and athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Feature your OPEN HOUSE here!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 10th-16th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: January 5th-9th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 13 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 3rd & 4th, 2015

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 3rd-9th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community Highlights: Guided Hike to Nature Play. Roving Scientist to Knitting Groups., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our reader recommended list of 50 Winter Suggestions for families in western MA.

January 3rd — 9th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

HikingSnowshoeing/SkiingNature PlaySTEMParent WorkshopsKnittingCollaborative ConsumptionFeatured StorytimesFeatured Playgroups

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Science & Fun of Chain Reactions
  2. Snow Studies: Crystals & Frost
  3. Bedtime Routine: Let’s Talk Bedtime
  4. New Year’s Resolution… To Enjoy Life!
  5. Parenting Green: Winter Curiosity & Outdoor Play

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

25 Community Highlights: Guided Hike to Nature Play. Roving Scientist to Knitting Groups.

Guided Hike to Nature Play. Roving Scientist to Knitting Groups. Storytimes to Playgroups… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Having both academic and social benefits, learning and practicing knitting is a terrific way for children to support their development of fine & gross motor coordination, math skills (think patterns, skip counting), problem solving, and self-esteem. Several of our local libraries offer weekly intergenerational knitting meet-ups, giving youth the opportunity to learn from their community members while allowing an older generation community enrichment through skillsharing. This week we are featuring five weekly knitting meet-ups that happen around the region. — Want to teach your children fiber arts at home? The Craft Yarn Council has online resources for knitting and crochet lesson plans.


HikingSnowshoeing/SkiingNature PlaySTEMParent WorkshopsKnittingCollaborative ConsumptionFeatured StorytimesFeatured Playgroups


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 3rd-9th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“With a toddler and a baby expected on New Year’s Day, our family is in the midst of creating new traditions during the winter months here in Western MA. Whether it is our daughter saying “moon” for the first time, a first cup of hot chocolate, or pulling a sled on the conservation land by the community gardens, we look forward to a season of firsts and memories.” – Celeste (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families

In this TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement,” Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares her story on why feeling connected to where you live matters, and how community-based education and community-service learning can help grow active citizens who care about where they live.Did you know that Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on your support? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today! For nearly a decade, Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement. As we embark on the next 10 years, we look forward to fortifying and expanding our mission to support community-based education and service-based learning through community engagement with the support of volunteers, sponsors and readers like you! Please include Hilltown Families in your giving this year so we can move forward together! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you for your support!

First Day Hikes

New Years Day lends itself to reflection, prompting us to think of all that passed in the previous year and all that’s to come in the new one. Families can bring nature into their reflection by participating in an organized community First Day hike, or by finding their own place to explore on their own. Hiking to a high place and watching life in your community from above can provide some much needed perspective on your family’s place within what you see. Check our post, First Day Hike in Nature: A Time for Family Reflection, for hike to do with the family on New Year’s Day.

Bulletin Board

Begins Jan 5

The Holyoke Creative Arts Center brings quality instruction in the creative and industrial arts to adults in Holyoke and the surrounding communities. Beginning and experienced students learn side by side with expert instructors in a relaxed and friendly environment. Register today for the Winter II Session which begins Monday, January 5th. Classes include woodcarving, painting, quilting, upholstery, specialty workshops, and more! Join HCAC and contribute to a 90+ year legacy of fostering creativity and community in the Pioneer Valley. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.holyokecac.org or contact HCAC at info@holyokecac.org.

Jan 5

Young Shakespeare Players East in Turners Falls: Can kids ages 7 to 18 do Shakespeare? Yes, uncut and unbelievable. The Young Shakespeare Players East is a non-profit classical theater program where young people perform full-length, original works of Shakespeare. Join the fun: Free Soup and Game Night at Hope + Olive in Greenfield, Jan 5, 5-7:30pm, Twelfth Night Celebration and Benefit for YSP East! Baked goods for sale, proceeds support YSP’s Scholarship Fund. Want to join YSP East? Intro session for Spring 2015 Julius Caesar program is Wed, Jan 21, 4-7pm at The Shea Theater, rehearsals every Wed and Sun, scholarships available. No auditions or rejections. ‘Like’ their Facebook page to learn more: Facebook.com/yspeast.

Jan 8

Mermaid Pizza Party at Odyssey Bookshop on Thursday, January 8th at 5pm. Swim down to the Odyssey Bookshop to explore an underwater world of magic and fantasy! Author Jennifer Donnelly will unlock the secrets to the mermaid kingdom from the first and second books in the Waterfire saga. Munch on free pizza, get glitter tattoos and revel in the words as you hear from Carnegie Medal and a Michael L. Printz Honor author, Jennifer Donnelly. Perfect for ages 9+! This event is free, but please RSVP by emailing RSVP@odysseybks.com. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. www.odysseybks.com

Jan 10

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for an original ballet, Aladdin and his Magic Lamp on January 10, 2015. The story of Aladdin and his Magic Lamp comes to life this spring at The Academy of Music on March 28 & 29, 2015. Presented by Pioneer Valley Ballet, the colorful characters and spell-bounding choreography takes audience members on a magical ride through a land brimming with genies, dreams, love, and adventure. Roles include Bluebirds, Flowers, Canaries, Bats, Spiders, and Children of the Palace. Children 4.5 – 12 years are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Children must be at least 4.5 by January 10. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Begins Jan 11

Biocitizen is pleased to offer Words in the Woods, a special course that invites girls ages 10-12 to explore the natural world and to cultivate a greater understanding of themselves through walking, hiking, thinking, reading and writing. In combination with hiking and walking in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, girls who take the course will be asked to keep a journal to guide their creativity; whether the girls’ strengths be art or poetry or observation-based writing, the detailing of the biotic world will fall into their hands because creativity, as we know, comes in all shapes and forms. Creative work will be shared and celebrated to build self-confidence and community. These 8 classes will be held on Sundays, 11am-3pm, Jan. 11-Apr. 24.

Feature your OPEN HOUSE here!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 3-9, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Words of Winter Wisdom for Life in Western MA

Check Out These Great Tips for Family Winter Fun!

Wondering where to get outside for a little winter fun? Or where to go inside for a winter birthday party or ice skating? There’s no better source of information on how to survive and thrive during the winter in Western MA than Hilltown Families’ readers!

Over the years Western MA families have shared their favorite places to go sledding and where to get a cup of hot chocolate after (or coffee for the parents!).  And once we get a big winter storm, their recommendations are going to be warmly welcomed! They’ve discussed how to get kids to dress for the cold, and where to take the family for a horse drawn sleigh ride (or an indoor winter birthday party).  Find out what local treasures and words of wisdom our readers have offered in these nine posts from our archives, and add your 2-cents too! Click here to read on!

Learning Ahead: Dec 29, 2014-Jan 2, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 10 events that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 27th & 28th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Include Hilltown Families in your end-of-the-year giving! Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support the community development of Hilltown Families.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 27th, 2014-January 2nd, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 31 Community Highlights: Puppetry to Robots. Jewish Pioneers to First Day Hikes., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our reader recommended list of  50 Winter Suggestions for families in western MA.

December 27th, 2014 — January 2, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Cultural Studies/American HistoryMusic StudiesLiterary PerformancesAnimal StudiesOutdoor AdventuresFolktalesPuppetryChoralSTEMWorld HistoryFashion HistoryAstronomyMuseum Adventures

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS New Year’s Peace Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. 8 Recommended Winter Resources & Activities for Families with Special Needs in Western MA
  3. 20 Reader Recommendations for a Rustic Winter Getaway in Western MA
  4. The Ripple: Winter Wetlands
  5. Oak & Acorn: White Pine Tea for Winter Days

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Community Highlights: Puppetry to Robots. Jewish Pioneers to First Day Hikes.

This week there are several puppet performances that bring folktales alive on stage, like “The Bremen Town Musicians” at The Carle, based on the Brothers Grimm folktale, Town Musicians of Bremen. Other puppet performances include the fairytale, Sleeping Beauty at Ventfort Hall, and the Russian folktale, The Firebird , at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

 

Puppetry to Robots. Jewish Pioneers to First Day Hikes. Wassailing to Handel’s Messiah… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The winter solstice, which took place this year on December 21, has been celebrated around the world for many thousands of years. Discover some of the solstice traditions of the British Isles and the United States at “Wassail, Wassail, All Over the Town!” with Tom Hooker Hanford at Ventfort Hall on Saturday, December 27 at 3:30pm. He will perform the songs and rituals of apple tree wassailers, wren boys, John Canoe Revelers, and callithumpians with singalong songs, masks, and props. He will be accompanied by guitar, harmonicas, and violin, and there will be opportunities for audience role playing. All ages can attend this performance, which teaches about the solstice traditions of the past and engages audience members. Call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 for more information. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($)


Cultural Studies/American HistoryMusic StudiesLiterary PerformancesAnimal StudiesOutdoor AdventuresFolktalesPuppetryChoralSTEMWorld HistoryFashion HistoryAstronomyMuseum Adventures


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 27th, 2014-January 2nd, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families helps us to cast a wider net when we are looking for activities during school vacation or on the weekends. Often we find sweet little buried gems that would otherwise have escaped our notice… Thanks for being here.” – Sarah Rankin (Greenfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families

In this TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement,” Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares her story on why feeling connected to where you live matters, and how community-based education and community-service learning can help grow active citizens who care about where they live.Did you know that Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on your support? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today! For nearly a decade, Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement. As we embark on the next 10 years, we look forward to fortifying and expanding our mission to support community-based education and service-based learning through community engagement with the support of volunteers, sponsors and readers like you! Please include Hilltown Families in your end-of-the-year giving so we can move forward together! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you for your support!

Bulletin Board

Dec 27 & 28

Make family memories at The Carle in Amherst! Celebrate A Very Merry Madeline Weekend December 27th and 28th. Visit the special exhibition, Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans, to learn about this incredible artist and his beloved character, Madeline. Gallery searches, films, story readings and art projects take place throughout the day, and children will have a chance to meet Madeline at 1pm and 3pm! Plus, CactusHead Puppets presents The Bremen Town Musicians, the classic tale of a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster who set off on a journey together to start new lives as musicians, and the exciting adventures they have along the way. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for more information.

Dec 31

Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Come celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield on December 31st from 11am – 1pm. Countdown to 12NOON instead of Midnight with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full award winning kids menu & lunch menu will be available. Noisemakers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! Please call for reservations. 413-665-1277

Begins Jan 5

The Holyoke Creative Arts Center brings quality instruction in the creative and industrial arts to adults in Holyoke and the surrounding communities. Beginning and experienced students learn side by side with expert instructors in a relaxed and friendly environment. Register today for the Winter II Session which begins Monday, January 5th. Classes include woodcarving, painting, quilting, upholstery, specialty workshops, and more! Join HCAC and contribute to a 90+ year legacy of fostering creativity and community in the Pioneer Valley. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.holyokecac.org or contact HCAC at info@holyokecac.org.

Begins Jan 11

Biocitizen is pleased to offer Words in the Woods, a special course that invites girls ages 10-12 to explore the natural world and to cultivate a greater understanding of themselves through walking, hiking, thinking, reading and writing. In combination with hiking and walking in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, girls who take the course will be asked to keep a journal to guide their creativity; whether the girls’ strengths be art or poetry or observation-based writing, the detailing of the biotic world will fall into their hands because creativity, as we know, comes in all shapes and forms. Creative work will be shared and celebrated to build self-confidence and community. These 8 classes will be held on Sundays, 11am-3pm, Jan. 11-Apr. 24.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 27th, 2014 — January 2, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: The Survival Instinct of the Sea Lamprey Endures…for 460,000,000 years

Why I Love Sea Lampreys

Sea Lampreys: A lot to love, and even more to admire.

Our rivers—the Westfield and the Connecticut—are alive. They could be more alive than they are, but the Holyoke and Turners Falls dams on the Connecticut and the West Springfield dam on the Westfield prevent that vivacity. These dams make anadromous fish (that spend part of their lives in fresh water and another part in salt water) go extinct.

I have wondered how it is that people can allow these extinctions to happen, without feeling absolute horror and guilt, and preventing any more of them. One reason is that we don’t know why their lives are valuable. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 20th & 21st, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Include Hilltown Families in your end-of-the-year giving! Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support the community development of Hilltown Families.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 20th-26th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Holiday Classics. Ballet to Chemistry., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

We also have two seasonal posts: Holiday Events for Families in Western MA and 50 Winter Suggestions from our readers.

December 20th-26th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Winter SolsticeArt HistoryMycologyFolk ArtOrnithologyEcologyLiteracyTheaterBalletTeensChemistryFilmService-Based LearningChorus

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 13 Tips On How To GREEN Your Holiday
  2. 8 Tips for Happier Holidays with Your Kids
  3. 10 Tips on Setting Technology Limits for Your Family
  4. Christmas Morning Clean-up: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
  5. Let’s Play: Indoor Forts Inspiring Creative Free Play

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Warm thank you to our sponsors!

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

22 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Holiday Classics. Ballet to Chemistry.

The 115th Christmas Bird Count runs through Monday, January 5th, 2015. Great annual event for families to participate as citizen scientists!

Winter Solstice to Holiday Classics. Mushrooms to Papercutting. Ballet to Chemistry…. These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, but it is also a day on which to celebrate the longer days to come. Join Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for their annual winter solstice celebration on Sunday, December 21 from 6pm-8:30pm. There are many different traditions from all around the world to celebrate the solstice, including this one at Arcadia! Each year, community members of all ages gather at the sanctuary for music, a bonfire, hot drinks, and fun activities. Celebrate the solstice and community at this fun annual event! The event is free, but please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 127 Combs Road in Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


Winter SolsticeArt HistoryMycologyFolk ArtOrnithologyEcologyLiteracyTheaterBalletTeensChemistryFilmService-Based LearningChorus


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 20th-26th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As a new mom without local family, Hilltown Families has given me essential information about activities I can do with my son and husband, and feel like a part of my new community.” – April Genung (South Deerfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families

In this TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement,” Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares her story on why feeling connected to where you live matters, and how community-based education and community-service learning can help grow active citizens who care about where they live.Did you know that Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on your support? For nearly a decade, Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement. As we embark on the next 10 years, we look forward to fortifying and expanding our mission to support community-based education and service-based learning through community engagement with the support of volunteers, sponsors and readers like you! Please include Hilltown Families in your end-of-the-year giving so we can move forward together! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you for your support!

Bulletin Board

Dec 19-21

Santa Claus is coming to town! PaintBox Theatre makes a December appearance with The Santa Show! This year’s all-new show stars Santa, Mrs. Claus, a bunch of elves, and Blitzen the reindeer. Poor Mrs. Claus: she works hard all year and no one seems to notice! Her secret wish? To travel with Santa this Christmas, delivering toys, seeing the children, and maybe even enjoying a picnic aboard the sleigh. Who will tell Santa? Performances of The Santa Show are at Northampton High School (380 Elm Street) on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 20-21 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tickets: $10 (general seating) at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Dec 21

“Light in the Darkness” Community Chanukah Celebration. On Sunday, December 21st from 5-7pm, Congregation B’nai Israel (253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.) welcomes the public to a joyous Chanukah celebration filled with music, storytelling, communal candle lighting and latkes. From 5-5:45pm, Felicia Sloin will lead singing and stories for little ones at the same time as a “Moth”-inspired story session on the theme of “Light in the Darkness” with three featured storytellers for adults and older kids. From 5:45-6:15pm, communal candle lighting and singing. Then from 6:15-7pm, latkes and treats. $5 per person. For more information email rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org or call 413-584-3593 x203.

Dec 31

Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Come celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield on December 31st from 11am – 1pm. Countdown to 12NOON instead of Midnight with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full award winning kids menu & lunch menu will be available. Noisemakers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! Please call for reservations. 413-665-1277

Begins Jan 5

The Holyoke Creative Arts Center brings quality instruction in the creative and industrial arts to adults in Holyoke and the surrounding communities. Beginning and experienced students learn side by side with expert instructors in a relaxed and friendly environment. Register today for the Winter II Session which begins Monday, January 5th. Classes include woodcarving, painting, quilting, upholstery, specialty workshops, and more! Join HCAC and contribute to a 90+ year legacy of fostering creativity and community in the Pioneer Valley. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.holyokecac.org or contact HCAC at info@holyokecac.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 20th-26th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Dec 15-19, 2014

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 14 events & resources that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 13th & 14th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Include Hilltown Families in your end-of-the-year giving! Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support the community development of Hilltown Families.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 13th-19th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 39 Community Highlights: Victorian Christmas to Magic Dreidel. Gingerbread Houses to Folk Opera., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

We also have two seasonal posts: Holiday Events for Families in Western MA and 50 Winter Suggestions from our readers.

December 13th-19th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

HistoryBirds & BeesHanukkahCollaborative ConsumptionMYO GiftsArchitecture & Design/Gingerbread HousesCommunity ServiceMuseum AdventuresAnimal StudiesFolk OperaMusic StudiesFilm StudiesFeatured Playgroups  ♦ PreSchool Highlights

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 19 Recommended Chanukka Books for Kids
  2. The Popover: Featured Holiday Recipe from The Red Lion Inn
  3. Spread the Bread: Community Service from Hearth & Home
  4. DIY Cinnamon Ornaments for the Holidays
  5. The Christmas Spider & the Legend of Tinsel

 

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Warm thank you to our sponsors!

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

39 Community Highlights: Victorian Christmas to Magic Dreidel. Gingerbread Houses to Folk Opera.

Making gingerbread houses are a great opportunity for families to spend time together in free, creative play- working together as a team and practicing culinary, math and architectural skills. This week there are four community gingerbread making events for families to choose from!

Victorian Christmas to Magic DreidelBeekeeping to Boreal Forest. Gingerbread Houses to Folk Opera… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Join the Berkshire Museum for the Festival of Trees Family Day on Saturday, December 13, 11am-5pm. There will be loads of fun activities for all ages, including Animals Up Close with Rick Roth of Creature Teachers ($), cookie decorating, a chance to see the Museum’s animals get fed, a performance by the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and a Winter Wonderland of Music and Song with with Kids4Harmony, the Pittsfield High School Jazz Ensemble, and Randy & Friends. Most events are free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)


HistoryBirds & BeesHanukkahCollaborative ConsumptionMYO GiftsArchitecture & Design/Gingerbread HousesCommunity ServiceMuseum AdventuresAnimal StudiesFolk OperaMusic StudiesFilm StudiesFeatured Playgroups  ♦ PreSchool Highlights


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 13th-19th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Our family learned about volunteer opportunities at The Food Bank of Western MA through Hilltown Families, and our young daughter enjoys being able to give to other families who need the help.” – Vincent Romano (Amherst, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Dec 5-31

R{E}volve, a pop-up shop of handmade objects, will be at Eastworks (116 Pleasant St) in Easthampton, Dec 5-31. Highlighting our region’s vibrant creative culture, R{E}volve underscores the economic & community benefits of buying locally.This year, R{E}volve will offer items for kids & adults, clothing & accessories, home goods, furniture, jewelry and fine art, by local artists. Special events include: Opening Reception/Ugly Sweater Party on Dec 5, 5-8pm; Art Walk Easthampton Reception on Dec 13, 5-8pm w/silent auction for artist made Christmas trees & gingerbread cookie decorating to benefit the Easthampton High Art Program. Shop hours are Dec 5-31, Mon- Sat 10am-6pm. Closed Sundays. Special exceptions: Dec 24 & 31, 10am-2pm; closed Dec 25.

Dec 12-14

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. 30th annual show celebrates the return of light with a delightful family show filled with music, dance, song, story and customs to drive the dark away. This year’s show centers on the younger people in an imaginary English village. Fri. Dec. 12th and Sat. 13th at 7:30pm.; Sun. Dec. 14th at 2pm. The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.Tickets: adults $12, seniors and children $10 (four and under free), family of five $40. Reserve tickets at 413-863-2281 or purchase in advance at Jones Library, Amherst; River Valley Market, Northampton; World Eye Bookstore, Greenfield; Basically Bicycles, Turners Falls; online at Brattleborotix.com. More information: www.welcomeyule.org or 413-665-3206.

Dec 12-14

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always sweet and always new, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Burkhard Catlin and Pablo Javier Perez of Carolina Ballet dancing the roles of The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and local favorites Meghan Mangsen and Christopher Phillips as Clara and The Nutcracker. Performs December 12-14 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and info: www.pioneervalleyballet.org. PVB also welcomes tiny princes and ballerinas to join them at their second annual Sugar Plum Fairy Tea on December 7 at the Clarion Hotel. Advanced reservations required. 413-527-6363.

Dec 13

Storytime With The Grinch! Saturday, December 13th at 2pm. “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” The Grinch himself will be at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley for a very special storytime of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Free giveaways, pins, stickers, snacks and more will accompany this grincy event. There will even be a photo opportunity with the Grinch himself— so parents, don’t forget to bring your cameras! FREE and All Ages. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley. 413-534-7307. www.odysseybks.com

Dec 13

This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to either the matinee performance at 2pm or the evening performance at 7pm on Saturday, December 13th at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music by the Celtic Music Academy of MA this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $11-$20 and are available at www.ACelticNutcracker.com

Dec 19-21

Santa Claus is coming to town! PaintBox Theatre makes a December appearance with The Santa Show! This year’s all-new show stars Santa, Mrs. Claus, a bunch of elves, and Blitzen the reindeer. Poor Mrs. Claus: she works hard all year and no one seems to notice! Her secret wish? To travel with Santa this Christmas, delivering toys, seeing the children, and maybe even enjoying a picnic aboard the sleigh. Who will tell Santa? Performances of The Santa Show are at Northampton High School (380 Elm Street) on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 20-21 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tickets: $10 (general seating) at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Begins Jan 5

The Holyoke Creative Arts Center brings quality instruction in the creative and industrial arts to adults in Holyoke and the surrounding communities. Beginning and experienced students learn side by side with expert instructors in a relaxed and friendly environment. Register today for the Winter II Session which begins Monday, January 5th. Classes include woodcarving, painting, quilting, upholstery, specialty workshops, and more! Join HCAC and contribute to a 90+ year legacy of fostering creativity and community in the Pioneer Valley. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.holyokecac.org or contact HCAC at info@holyokecac.org.

Through Dec 31

The Springfield Museums – the perfect place to spend time with out of town guests or just an afternoon with the family during the holidays. See the new Adventures in Gingerbread exhibit, featuring hand-painted murals based on a certain popular winter fairy tale. See decorative snowglobes, prints of winter scenes from Japan, and original Norman Rockwell drawings. Shop The Museum Store, with gifts for all ages and tastes…and don’t miss Wacky Week family programs during school vacation (December 26-31), featuring “Wacky Chad” and other great family entertainers from around the region plus planetarium shows and educational activities for all! For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org or call 413-263-6800.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, community event, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 13th-19th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Dec 8-12, 2014

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 12 events that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 6th & 7th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 6th-12th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 30 Community Highlights: Middle Earth to The Matrix. Biology to Bread Baking., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families. We also have two seasonal posts: Holiday Events for Families in Western MA and 50 Winter Suggestions from our readers.

December 6th-12th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Science/BiologyFilm StudiesHoliday HistoryLocal HistorySkillshare/WellnessArchitectureMYO Holiday GiftsLiteracyHoliday StrollsComputer SciencePreSchool HighlightsParenting WorkshopCarolingBread Baking

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Heart Of Chanukah Show with Guest DJ, Mama Doni (Podcast/Radio Show)
  2. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums
  3. Language Play: Caroling and Language Learning
  4. Parenting Green: Eco-Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Holidays
  5. Science and the Sea Podcast

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Warm thank you to our sponsors!

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

30 Community Highlights: Middle Earth to The Matrix. Biology to Bread Baking.

Pioneer Valley Bread House is holding a bread-baking event that’s open to everyone on Monday, December 8, 4:30pm-6:30pm! Come learn about the art and symbolism of decorating breads and share, learn, and create with community members. Baking bread is a fun and useful skill and this is a perfect event to help you get started! Takes place at Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. 83 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Middle Earth to The Matrix. MYO Christmas Cards to Menorahs. Reindog Parade to Parenting Styles… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Is your child interested in computers and coding? Holyoke Codes is a week-long event held in conjunction with the national Computer Science Education Week. During the week of December 8-13, there will be a series of free workshops offered at the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center (100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA). Kids can participate in the Hour of Code event, where you join millions of people around the world to build your own code. Other programs that the workshops will focus on include Artbotics, which combines art and computer science to create robotics that move and interact; Scratch, which you can use to create interactive stories and animations; and Made with Code, which is a Google coding party for girls ages 12-17 (a great opportunity to get girls involved in the male-dominated field of computer science!). There will also be an opportunity to come share what you have created during the workshops. Kids and teens who are interested in learning computer programming will love getting to try their hand at all these different programs! Please register in advance; a full schedule can be found on the registration page.


Science/BiologyFilm StudiesHoliday HistoryLocal HistorySkillshare/WellnessArchitectureMYO Holiday GiftsLiteracyHoliday StrollsComputer SciencePreSchool HighlightsParenting WorkshopCarolingBread Baking


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 6th-12th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As a new parent, Hilltown Families was such a valuable resource! Whether looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, looking for an idea for begin a new family tradition marking a holiday, or just connecting with other parents, Hilltown Families kept me connected. Over the years the people I met through the Hilltown Families have remained an active part of our lives! Thanks for all you do!” – Tony Lemos (Ashfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families

Click here to schedule your donation!

Schedule your tax deductible donation today!

On Wednesday, December 10th, Hilltown Families will be will be participating in Valley Gives! As we enter our 10th year, this will be our 1st Annual Appeal Campaign, asking our readers to support us with a tax deductible donation so that we may continue to support education through community engagement through this communication network you have grown to love and depend upon! Wondering how your tax deductible donation will support Hilltown Families? Here are 15 ways your donation will support Hilltown Families!

Check out our video trailer, placing in the top 10 of Valley Gives Video Contest:

Want to learn more about the vision and mission of Hilltown Families? Check out this TEDx Talk: Supporting Education Through Community Engagement by Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield.

Bulletin Board

Dec 5-31

R{E}volve, a pop-up shop of handmade objects, will be at Eastworks (116 Pleasant St) in Easthampton, Dec 5-31. Highlighting our region’s vibrant creative culture, R{E}volve underscores the economic & community benefits of buying locally.This year, R{E}volve will offer items for kids & adults, clothing & accessories, home goods, furniture, jewelry and fine art, by local artists. Special events include: Opening Reception/Ugly Sweater Party on Dec 5, 5-8pm; Art Walk Easthampton Reception on Dec 13, 5-8pm w/silent auction for artist made Christmas trees & gingerbread cookie decorating to benefit the Easthampton High Art Program. Shop hours are Dec 5-31, Mon- Sat 10am-6pm. Closed Sundays. Special exceptions: Dec 24 & 31, 10am-2pm; closed Dec 25.

Dec 6

Crafty Rumpus and Yggdrasil: (Center School’s Open House that is Open to Everyone) is Saturday, December 6 from 10am-2pm. PreK-8th grade teachers will offer free nature art and crafting projects for kids ages 3-12. And, back by popular demand, Yggdrasil: an interactive, enchanted indoor forest. Yggdrasil is a tree in Norse mythology that welcomes us into 9 magical realms. Free Yggdrasil realms will feature archery with Amherst Archery Association, a labyrinth, a transfiguration realm, a cave to discover one’s own power animal and more! In addition: savory and sweet foods available for purchase, Come to Rumpus and Yggdrasil, meet the teachers and families of The Center School. All are welcome! centerschoolrumpus.blogspot.com.

Dec 6

Winter Fair on Saturday, December 6 from 10am–3pm at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School new location: 1 Industrial Way, Easthampton, MA. The Winter Fair at HCCPS is a fun and festive annual event which includes craft and gift-making for all ages, musical performances, book sales and delicious food. Come with your children and create gifts for family and friends, then stay for performances and some homemade treats! There is something for everyone at the Hilltown Winter Fair. For more information call the school at 413-529-7178 or check out their web site: www.hilltowncharter.org.

Dec 6

Five Little Monkeys Pajama Party with author, illustrator – Eileen Christelow. Saturday, December 6th, 4pm. The Odyssey Bookshop welcomes the legendary author and illustrator, Eileen Christelow, creator of the Five Little Monkeys series for a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on The Bed! Bring your favorite bedtime stuffed animal and join us for a pajama party with this wonderful author! Freebies, stickers are all in store for you on this Saturday afternoon! FREE and All Ages. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley. 413-534-7307. www.odysseybks.com

Dec 7

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea on Sunday, December 7 at 2:30 at The Clarion Hotel in Northampton. Dust off your shoes and shine your tiara! You and your child will delight in dainty treats, delicate sweets, and a visit from The Sugar Plum Fairy. PVB ballet dancers will share their ballet skills, read a story with you, and present a short performance. This event is a fundraiser for Pioneer Valley Ballet. As a non-profit, PVB relies on the generosity of their community and special events to support their valuable programming like The Nutcracker. Join them at The Clarion Hotel for a very special wintry tea party. Reservations Required: $25 per person, seating at 2:30. www.pioneervalleyballet.tix.com

Dec 12-14

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always sweet and always new, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Burkhard Catlin and Pablo Javier Perez of Carolina Ballet dancing the roles of The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and local favorites Meghan Mangsen and Christopher Phillips as Clara and The Nutcracker. Performs December 12-14 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and info: www.pioneervalleyballet.org. PVB also welcomes tiny princes and ballerinas to join them at their second annual Sugar Plum Fairy Tea on December 7 at the Clarion Hotel. Advanced reservations required. 413-527-6363.

Dec 12-14

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. 30th annual show celebrates the return of light with a delightful family show filled with music, dance, song, story and customs to drive the dark away. This year’s show centers on the younger people in an imaginary English village. Fri. Dec. 12th and Sat. 13th at 7:30pm.; Sun. Dec. 14th at 2pm. The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.Tickets: adults $12, seniors and children $10 (four and under free), family of five $40. Reserve tickets at 413-863-2281 or purchase in advance at Jones Library, Amherst; River Valley Market, Northampton; World Eye Bookstore, Greenfield; Basically Bicycles, Turners Falls; online at Brattleborotix.com. More information: www.welcomeyule.org or 413-665-3206.

Dec 13

This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to either the matinee performance at 2pm or the evening performance at 7pm on Saturday, December 13th at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music by the Celtic Music Academy of MA this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $11-$20 and are available at www.ACelticNutcracker.com

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, community event, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 6th-12th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Dec 1-5, 2014

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all year long!

This week we are featuring 10 events that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for November 29th & 30th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for November 29th-December 5th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, 28 Community Highlights: Book Trade to Toy Exchange. Victorian Age to Hindi Film., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families. We also have two seasonal posts: Holiday Events for Families in Western MA  and 50 Winter Suggestions from our readers.

November 29th – December 5th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Computer ScienceTransportation HistoryCollaborative ConsumptionCommunity CelebrationsFilm StudiesHoliday HistoryMuseum AdventuresLEGOsMusic Studies ExerciseCommunity ServiceAstronomyParent/Educator WorkshopPreschool Highlights

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. The Dinner Table: Giving is Inspiring
  2. Local Christmas Tree Farms: A Lens Into Environmental Science
  3. Community Service: Creating Care Bags for Giving
  4. Holidays & the History of Toys
  5. Citizen Scientist Opportunity: Snowtweets

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Warm thank you to our sponsors!

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries Newer entries »

%d bloggers like this: